Pella Saves 3 M.P To Fell Isner
Pella takes down American fourth seed John Isner in three hours
Argentina’s Guido Pella has withstood a barrage of 31 aces to send No. 4 seed John Isner crashing out in the opening round of the Rio Open on Monday night, saving three match points in the 7-6(5), 5-7, 7-6(8) upset. The 25 year old won just 17 per cent of points on Isner’s first serve but still found a way past the World No. 12 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.
He failed to convert any of his four break point opportunities in the three-hour, two-minute affair but did well to fend off 10 of 11 break points. After opening his season reaching the quarter-finals in Auckland and fourth round at the Australian Open, Isner fell to 0-2 on his South American swing, having fallen to Dusan Lajovic in his first match in Buenos Aires last week.
In his Rio Open debut, World No.71-ranked Pella had a match point with Isner serving at 4-5 in the second set. The American saved it with a kicking second-serve ace before finding himself down two match points when serving to stay in the match again at 4-5 in the third.
Again Isner held before both players traded love holds to force the deciding tie-break. From 5/5 in the tie-break, three times Isner stood at match point only to be denied.
Pella brought up match point No. 3 of his own at 9/8 and closed it out to book a second-round showdown with with either Santiago Giraldo or Gastao Elias. “I had a lot of chances and I did not play the right way,” a cramping Isner released via a statement following the match. “I had high expectations for this trip. I hope to come back and play better.”